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I'm looking for a type of chicken that I can use in a chicken yard to keep my grass mowed, will grow quickly, stay in their yard to clean all of the grass out. What breeds would you recommend that I get for my lawn mowers?

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  • How about guinea pigs users.on.net/~arachne/guinea.html ? – Graham Chiu Jun 29 '16 at 0:10
  • You have me convinced for the next question. – a coder Jun 29 '16 at 3:51
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is an agriculture/livestock question. – Jan Doggen yesterday
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You're confusing concepts. Chickens are used to prepare the ground prior to the planting of the food forest. They weed the ground, fertilize and lay eggs. They are confined inside moveable fencing, and any domestic breed will do the job. In no universe do they mow lawns.

See http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-agriculture/using-chickens-plant-food-forest.html

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    Unless by "mow" you mean "remove" or "destroy" - chickens will fairly quickly kill any grass they have access to unless there is a great deal of it and you force them away from bits that are struggling due to too much chicken. You'd want the opposite of a chicken tractor, movable fences you can use to protect vulnerable parts. I actually do this just with a roll of chicken wire and tent pegs, but it's somewhat tedious and temporary. As a longer term solution just not letting the chickens on the lawn is better. – Móż Jul 26 '16 at 3:06
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FORGET chickens, bucko. They might eat seeds and seedlings but in no universe I know they actually cut grass down. My goodness. If you are wanting A LAWN forget about hiring goats, horses, cattle...sheeps. That is fine for pasture but you'd have to be able to rotate them before they eat down to the crowns and demolish any grass plants you have.

If you want a lawn just get your man juices up and purchase a damn good hydraulic mower with blades you can sharpen, bag your grass clippings, purchase a cheapo scott's hand spreader for fertilizer and/or seed, definitely need a great gas powered string trimmer and a gas powered blower (Stihl is a bonafide great brand for homeowner use...). Otherwise, make an lawn of gravel...like the Japanese do. Once per year rent a plug aerator...

  • Are you thinking I'm growing vegetables as well as trees? I would just use trees so that I need to worry less about my tree plants so I don't need to worry about my other plants. – a coder Jun 27 '16 at 23:04
  • I can only go by what you've told us. 'Worry less about your trees'? Guess I am very confused as to your goals. – stormy Jun 27 '16 at 23:13
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    Stormy's right: Chickens won't cut down grass, they will rip it out, roots and all. At least in some places, leaving patches of tall growth (usually something unwanted, in my experience) in upturned, bare dusty soil. And chickens would just love the sandy soil OP is dealing with. – Stephie Jun 28 '16 at 4:42
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    Chickens eats grass. – Giacomo Catenazzi Jun 28 '16 at 6:41
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    black thumb please explain how and why 5+ feet shrubs need protection with rubber pipe? Do you do this to your trees? We need to talk...and Giacomo...kitty kats eat grass as well...but to maintain a level for a lawn? This is nuts. – stormy Jun 28 '16 at 6:46
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Chickens are not lawn mowers. They eat grass, but they select what they like (plants with relatively large leaves are preferred, like clovers, Plantago, etc). So you have no uniform cutting.

They like also much the ground, so they will start to throw away grass in patches, so that they can delouse (if it is dry) or looking for worms (if is is more humid). In a forest, I would expect they will dig various holes (not deep, but large).

But if you want a wild garden, they could help, and also in a wild garden (OTOH a wild garden doesn't requires chicken nor lawn mower).

  • if you have enough of them in a confined space they become lawn mowers. – a coder Jun 28 '16 at 17:09
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    @blackthumb: But you risk that they will destroy the lawn. (e.g. in winter where the grass is not enough) – Giacomo Catenazzi Jun 28 '16 at 19:43
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    I'll correct that statement a bit to equal my observed reality. if you have enough of them in a confined space, they will reduce the ground cover to dust. That's pretty much been my experience with chicken runs. It's why we put chickens in "chicken tractors" out in the pasture so they can be moved before they eliminate the ground cover. – Fiasco Labs Jun 28 '16 at 22:36
  • a coder and others wanting a NATURAL way to reduce us human's responsibilities is just wrong. Unbelievable. Chickens give us a great food product, help with grubs...that is ENOUGH. You keep adding job descriptions for these poor guys. Where the heck did you hear we humans can make a FOREST in our backyard that is self sufficient? We need to have more discussions. What is your educational background? If you don't have a basic handle on biology, botany you aren't going to get much benefit from answers. You aren't going to like what you learn. – stormy Jul 2 '16 at 0:47
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I use free range chickens to help with lawn management. They do an excellent job and do not destroy the lawn if they have enough space to roam. Any breed will do. I now cut the grass only a few times each year so they save me lots of work.

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    Welcome to sustainability.SE! Looks like you've got the information the question is asking for, but your answer could use a bit more detail: what breed do you use? How much space is enough space? What's the climate where you live? What type of grass do you have? – LShaver Jul 25 '16 at 8:37
  • Prairie grass that I plan to put an orchard on, after terraforming it. – a coder Jul 26 '16 at 3:24

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